2004 Menards Infiniti Pro Series Preview: Duesenberg Racing Rookie Giebler Impresses in Limited Testing INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004 -- Keith Duesenberg Racing established a high standard for itself last season. In its inaugural...
2004 Menards Infiniti Pro Series Preview: Duesenberg Racing
Rookie Giebler Impresses in Limited Testing
INDIANAPOLIS, Thursday, Feb. 26, 2004 -- Keith Duesenberg Racing established a high standard for itself last season.
In its inaugural season of racing in the IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series, the Duesenberg team surged to a second-place finish in the point standings with rookie driver Jeff Simmons, who recorded wins at Gateway and Kentucky and finished with nine top-five finishes in 12 races.
That type of success is nothing new to Duesenberg Racing. Duesenberg race cars have won three Indianapolis 500s since entering the sport in 1914.
The team is banking on another rookie, Californian Phil Giebler, to continue the team's success in 2004.
"After following Phil's career overseas, everything we've heard about him exceeded those reports," team owner Keith Duesenberg said. "We were impressed with Phil both in and out of the car. He's smart, a quick learner and a solid communicator with a great sense of humor."
Giebler, who has been racing for five years in Europe, made his debut in a Menards Infiniti Pro Series car at the IRL's Open Test at Phoenix International Raceway in February. The team quickly gelled to turn in the day's third-fastest time.
"I knew from the moment I got on the track with this team that we could contend for a championship this season," said Giebler, 23. "The crew and I communicated very well and they helped me get comfortable very quickly with the race car."
Giebler, who has spent his career working toward a ride in Formula One, looks forward to attacking the oval tracks on the Menards Infiniti Pro Series circuit.
"Instead of chasing funding, we will be chasing that championship trophy," Giebler said. "There's no better way to turn heads, here or in Europe, than by winning races."
The combination of a strong, young driver and a team with a long history of winning, the Keith Duesenberg Racing team should have a strong chance of matching or bettering last year's results.
CAPSULE LOOK AT KEITH DUESENBERG RACING
Sponsor: Western Union
Owner: Keith Duesenberg
Driver: Phil Giebler
Team manager: Dave McMillan
Crew chief: Garry Orton
Chief mechanic: Nelson Eves
Engineer: Tom Ambrose / Chuck Kidwell
Keith Duesenberg: "We are excited and optimistic as we look to the start of the 2004 season. The Menards Infiniti Pro Series has proven to be an outstanding series for developing and showcasing very talented drivers, as evidenced by drivers Mark Taylor and Ed Carpenter going to the IndyCar Series this year. With our successes that we enjoyed in our first year in this series, we are looking forward to giving Western Union another very successful year in 2004."
Phil Giebler: "Driving for a team like Keith Duesenberg Racing and a sponsor such as Western Union is something every race driver dreams about. This opportunity will allow all of us to build for the future, and I'm thrilled and excited to be a part of it."
The 2004 IRL Menards Infiniti Pro Series season begins with the Homestead-Miami 100 at 11:45 a.m. (EST) on Feb. 29, 2004, at Homestead-Miami Speedway. The race will be broadcast on a tape-delayed basis on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. on March 4.